Transferable Skills

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Stethoscope on 100 dollar bills symbolizing financial surveillance

Deandre Horne was a accomplished fraudster by the time the pandemic came around. So the well-developed skills of stealing and lying that Horne had mastered were easily transferable to the fraud opportunities that the Covid-19 Cares Act offered. No industry is safe from fraud!

From July 6, 2017, to March 18, 2021, Horne, owner of Serenity Home Health Care, fraudulently billed Missouri Medicaid for services that were not supported by valid timesheets or electronic visit verification (EVV) documents. EVV is a system in which personal care attendants electronically clock in and out by phone. Fraud is easy from a phone, and this is what Horne did while traveling all over the world. Horne not only created the false EVV documentations to support fraudulent Medicaid billing, but he also claimed to be the personal care attendant for the services never provided. How much did he steal? Not sure yet. At his sentencing scheduled for May 22, 2023, prosecutors will argue that the Missouri Medicaid program lost between $550,000 and $1.5 million due to Horne’s fraud. Not surprising the government isn’t sure what was paid to a fraudster.

During the time, Horne’s Medicaid scheme was operating, the pandemic came along. On July 15, 2020, Horne applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. Horne falsely claimed to be the sole owner of a company called Budget Towing & Recovery, with a monthly payroll of $40,000. Horne received $135,707 in stolen funds from his fraudulent loan application.

Horne is scheduled to be sentenced May 22 for both convictions.

Great job by the Department of Health and Human Services in this investigation.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “U City man admits stealing more than $100K in pandemic loan, scamming Missouri Medicaid” published by 5 On Your Side on February 21, 2023

Horne received more than $100,000 from a PPP loan meant to help small businesses facing hardship during the pandemic. On Tuesday, a University City man admitted to fraudulently stealing over $100,000 in a pandemic loan and scamming the Missouri Medicaid system.

According to a press release from the Office of the United States Attorney Eastern District of Missouri, 32-year-old Deandre Horne pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud and one count of wire fraud as he stood before U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.